Dear UAB Community and Friends,
 
With spring nearly upon us, our campus and community are bustling with activity and exciting developments in several arenas. Last week UAB and Birmingham hosted our third straight Conference-USA Basketball Tournament, again showcasing our talented men’s and women’s teams and Birmingham as an outstanding sports destination, and I commend our players, coaches and staff on a hard-fought tournament and season.

 aghi press conference play
Last Thursday UAB launched the Alabama Genomic Health Initiative (AGHI) in partnership with HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. This transformational initiative is among the nation’s first state-wide efforts to harness the power of genomic analysis to help identify those at high risk for a genetic disease and to drive continuing research into genetic contributors to health and disease. UAB is deeply grateful for the $2 million appropriation from the State of Alabama to fund this program, which can dramatically improve health and quality of life for our citizens.

The AGHI will further position UAB and Alabama at the vanguard — nationally and internationally — of genomic and personalized medicine, enabling us to uncover more undiagnosed diseases, identify new genetic diseases and develop new treatments for those conditions. It will also be a great stride in our ongoing efforts to grow a robust, innovation-based economy for our region and state, especially as we look toward breaking ground later this year for the Altec Styslinger Genomic Medicine and Data Sciences Research Building.
 
UAB CAS0002 web 1000A rendering of the new UAB College of Arts & Sciences building coming in fall 2019That planned building is among several key facilities of our Campus Master Plan that is transforming UAB into one of the most vibrant, state-of-the-art and sustainable campuses in the nation. Last fall we broke ground for our new School of Nursing Building, the Collat School of Business/Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Building, and our Football Operations Complex and Legacy Pavilion, which is topping out and scheduled for completion this summer. You can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the progress being made on all three facilities by way of this recent drone video. We will begin construction this summer on another architecturally striking facility — the 160,000-square-foot expansion of our College of Arts and Sciences that will replace the UAB Humanities Building and feature two wings and a 300-seat auditorium among other amenities.

news football thumb playSee new facilities for UAB Football, the Collat School of Business/Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the School of Nursing take shape on UAB's campus.
As we continue to construct and enhance facilities, we are also fostering an increasingly green campus and developing effective pathways to sustainability.  We planted over 400 trees on campus in 2016 and unveiled the largest solar-energy system in Birmingham, earning a SILVER rating in our first national sustainability assessment. Recently UAB was honored by the federal “Green Ribbon Schools” program, which recognizes schools, districts and institutions of higher education that promote sustainability practices and resources that might be employed as national models by other institutions.   

The dramatic growth of our physical campus is emblematic of UAB’s growth and development in other respects — novel academic programs, increased research funding and innovation, far-reaching and impactful service, and an international reputation that is putting us among the top universities on the globe
 
 
solar panel 2The solar panels on the roof of UAB's Campus Recreation Center form the largest solar-energy system in Birmingham 
 
We are planning effectively for continued growth through our Strategic Planning Council. Through January and February, the Council held 10 listening sessions with faculty, staff, students and alumni, and over the last two weeks we were able to engage in discussion with every school and college. Several of the Council members have been named chairs of working committees to further engage the campus community in goal-setting around the four pillars of our mission, and you can learn more about our progress here. On a related note, we also continue to gather input on our national search for a Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost. I thank all who are participating for your time and input in helping to shape the future of our university.  

All of UAB’s continued growth and success would not be possible without the strong partnership of our community, and more than 93,400 donors have now put the Campaign for UAB over $782 million. I want to thank all of our generous donors and friends, as well as our students, faculty and staff, for sharing a bold vision for the future of UAB and Birmingham and working together to make that vision a reality.